This image shows what our plates should look like at each meal!
Half your plate should be fruits and vegetables, one-fourth protein, and one-fourth grains! With a serving of dairy on the side.
Each food group is essential to a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle to keep our bodies running like they should!
Fruits and Vegetables
½ of your plate should be fruits and vegetables!
Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in fat, sodium, and calories – they are natures weight control tool.
Fruits and vegetables are full of vitamins and minerals.
Be sure to eat the rainbow; the color of fruits and vegtables correlate to different vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that have different functions in our bodies. Missing a color could mean missing out on a health benefit.
Curious about some of the benefits you are getting from your fruits and vegetables? Check out, What’s In Your Food?
¼ of your plate should be grains
Grains include foods like bread, pasta, rice, bagels, oatmeal, and cereal.
50% of all grains should be whole grains. Whole grains are high in fiber which helps with digestion and keeps you feeling fuller longer!
You can also get whole grain pasta, bread, and other baked goods!
How do you know if it is whole grain?
Here are some helpful tips on cooking common whole grains.
The dairy group includes milk, yogurt, and cheeses.
Dairy foods are high in vitamins and minerals for bone health!
2-3 servings of dairy a day are recommended.
If you don’t like or can’t eat milk products, just make sure you get a milk alternative fortified in vitamins A, D, and calcium.
Compare the nutrient value of different milks to see what works for you!
Protein is found in poultry such as chicken and turkey, meats such as beef, seafood such as tuna and shrimp, beans, and cheeses.
Protein contains nutrients to help build and maintain muscle as well as heal wounds.
Choose lean protein such as chicken, seafood, and beans whenever possible because they are lower in fat than other meats.
Thinking about Portion Sizes
We always have a handy tool on us for measuring our portions.
See how you can plan your plate using your hands here.
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